Day 1: What is Your Why?

To kick off this month’s Digital Journal Challenge, write about why you want to keep a journal:

  • What benefits are you hoping to experience?
  • If you’ve kept a journal before, how has journaling been helpful to you in the past?
  • How would you like journal writing to help you in your daily life?
  • What issues do you think journaling could help you solve?

Hmmm.  This is a bit like asking why I breathe.  I just have to.  It’s built in.

  • My mind is jumping around like crazy.  Can’t figure out what to do next, how to focus. How will I calm down, regain control and some order?  Write.
  • I am too upset to think rationally.  How do I keep from doing something  that I will regret later?  What helps me slow down and look at the issue and hopefully find a win/win answer?  Write.
  • I need to pay more attention to my life, to those monumental things that come disguised as insignificant, everyday events and that make my journey unique and satisfying.  How can I be more observant, more present, develop that attitude of gratitude?  Write.
  • How can anyone get through daily life without lists?  How do you get a list? Write.
  • How do I imprint important points/thoughts/ideas/principles that I want to remember and use?  Write.
  • How do I recognize slow progress or encourage myself to continue toward a goal that seems distant.  Review previously written objectives already attained.  Then check to make sure more objectives are out in front of me.  Which means, write some more.
  • How to I, on those days when I feel that I have no talent and waste too much time on this elusive and persistent writing thing?  Re-read what I have written.  But that means writing today for tomorrow’s encouragement.

So I don’t “hope” to experience benefits; I know I will.  I will solve issues of all sorts, make my daily routine more satisfying and purposeful. I have had years of practice.  Can’t see the harm in practicing some more.

I find it interesting that this challenge also ties in to some research being done on pen-and-paper vs digital journaling.

Now there is an interesting topic.  I recently went back to pen and paper because of the connection I feel: head to hand, hand to page.

Digital journaling can be so many different things.  This blog is a journal of sorts, I guess.  I have recorded all sorts of thoughts and ideas important to me, and perhaps of interest to others.

However, the fact that there is an audience makes a huge difference.  I do not whine and snivel here.  Much.  I whine and snivel a lot when I know the only person who will read it is myself.

I do have a digital journal on my iPad that I absolutely love called Day One.  Yet I am still careful about what I put down there, not knowing where I might lose my iPad next and who might find it and who will have details of my life they could use to become someone they aren’t.

So I am not sure I could ever give up pen and paper journaling.  I like being able to write whenever I have the time and place, and usually if I don’t have a notebook I do have my tablet.  I will probably always use both and wonder where on earth I wrote that little tidbit that I would really love to have RIGHT NOW!

So there is a mark in the plus column for digital journaling.  With tags and such it can be a lot easier to reference things you’ve written down.  And now with the ability to convert to PDF files and store things away from the computer, I don’t have to worry as much about a tornado blowing everything away.  I will likely have my pen and notebook in my to-go backpack with other essentials.  So I can write in the process of being blown away.

And one last why: for the past few years I have participated in National Blog Writing Month during October to sort of prime the pump for National Novel Writing Month.  However NaBloWriMo has not been updated since October 10 of last year, so this Journal Challenge seemed like a good alternative.


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